I’m always looking for fun ways to learn. I notice that my kids enjoy the process more, and retain the information better when they’re having fun. My kids love all types of games — board games, card games, and especially video games (although we limit video games to mostly educational ones around here). If your kids are anything like mine, then you’re going to want to continue reading, because I’m thrilled to share with you how excited I am about a program called Vocabulary Quest — a fantastic vocabulary builder for homeschoolers.
Vocabulary Quest is a great vocabulary builder and software program for homeschoolers of all shapes and sizes. The word lists it contains are both intermediate and advanced so I would recommend it for middle or high school students, and maybe even advanced upper elementary. I also think this game would be a great way for adults to keep their brains sharp and expand their own vocabulary. Before I give my kids any new program to use, I try it out myself, and I found myself not wanting to stop playing! The program is also a great way to cover the vocabulary needed to prepare for ACT and SAT test, so if you’ve got a student who is getting ready for those College entrance tests (one of mine is!), this would be a great, fun way to practice.
My kids are ages 9, 11, 14 & 16. They all tried Vocabulary Quest as a vocabulary builder and all of them liked it a lot. My 14 year old especially. I almost couldn’t get him to stop. They all asked to play multiple times a week, which I value in a homeschool program. That way I’m not trying to force them to learn, they are interested in learning themselves. Since my husband was an English major, we’ve always taught our kids vocabulary and we always try to learn new words every week. Strangers sometimes stop me and tell me how eloquently my children speak for their age. My husband and I both take pride in this. So, giving us another way to incorporate new words into their weekly routine is a blessing for us.
The thing I love most about Vocabulary Quest is that it is a highly interactive learning software that is a fantastic vocabulary builder. There are fun visuals and a highly adaptive interface that fuels an interactive learning process. Further, it offers students a variety of ways in which to practice and hone skills – crosswords, matching games, multiple choice, flash cards, short tests, and the way my kids loved to play most, by pitting themselves against colorful monsters summoned by mages. Word recognition and comprehension are essential to winning these timed battles. Along the way, players join guilds, acquire special powers, unlock levels, access new armor to wear and more! There are 1200 advanced vocabulary words in all, organized into theme-based sublists that can be arranged in a myriad of ways so that it’s always fresh and fun!
Here’s how the game works:
As a vocabulary builder, the vocabulary words are practiced in groups of five. There are four basic mini-games you can play to learn the words. These mini-games are classic ways that vocabulary is normally studied; multiple choice, crossword, matching, and fill-in-the-blank. As you work through the games the program will create a list of the words the student misses and add them to the section labeled ‘Recommended to Study’.
For additional practice your student can use the flashcards, quick test, and spelling activities.
The games can be replayed as many times as needed to hit mastery. In the final game your child will be conquering an enemy. Their chance of conquering the enemy is based on the speed and accuracy of the answers. They will see a definition on the screen and need to type the correct word, spelled perfectly (and quickly).
After you answer the questions, the battle between your character and the enemy will take place automatically, and you will win or lose, depending on how well you answered the questions. You have to win this round before the next five words are unlocked.
As you play through the game you unlock better armor and weapons, which you can equip in the armory.
The kids had a ton of fun battling the Mages and would run into the kitchen and tell me all about the words they learned while playing. It was a way for us to talk about different words and meanings each day. The kids knew some of the words already, but didn’t know a lot of them, and throughout the weeks we used the program (we’re still using it), I would hear them incorporate words into their everyday lives. That was by far the neatest outcome of using this program. I love seeing my kids progress in real life — not just in the classroom.
Some things to know about using Vocabulary Quest in your Homeschool…
- It is designed to be supplemental — it is not a curriculum, which is a huge perk for me and many homeschooling parents. It means you can pick it up when you need to, and use it as a supplement to your typical homeschooling routine. It also makes it feel more fun — as if it isn’t really school work.
- It is designed to teach a large and advanced vocabulary and that means you don’t need to buy a bunch of levels or a new vocabulary program each year!
- Kids can work independently. I can’t stress how important this is — especially if you are ho meschooling multiple age groups. Truly, I love independent learning because it not only helps me as a homeschooling mom, but it teaches my kids how to think for themselves and stay busy. A valuable skill for any child.
- It is not an app! I love that this isn’t on a phone or tablet. They kids have to use the computer, which is a welcome change to their everyday lives. It’s still a computer game, but at least it’s on a bigger screen!
- I suggest limiting their time to 30 minutes a day or less. It’s a game, but it’s also school work, and while I love fun learning opportunities, I also value time away from the computer. 30 minutes a day is plenty and will give you and your kids a lifetime of learning with this program with that daily time limit.
Vocabulary Quest is available either as a download or as a physical CD and is intended for use on a computer with either Windows 7, 8 or 10 operating system (32 and 64 bits). Vocabulary Quest is also a 2020 Tillywig Award Winner!
You can learn more about Vocabulary Quest and how to purchase the program from their website: https://vocabularyquest.com/